Rebels host SDSU in first MWC home game of the season

Rebels host SDSU in first MWC home game of the season

– The UNLV men’s basketball team (11-2, 0-1) will host San Diego State in its Mountain West home opener on Saturday, Dec. 31 at 1 p.m. at the Thomas & Mack Center.

LAST TIME OUT: The Runnin’ Rebels opened conference play on Wednesday night with a 75-72 overtime loss at San Jose State. EJ Harkless scored all of his game-high 20 points after halftime, while Justin Webster added 11 points on 3 of 4 3-point shooting. Luis Rodriguez had a team-high eight rebounds.

ABOUT THE ROSTER: This season’s UNLV squad features six returners, nine newcomers, including six transfers from the Division I level, and a total of 10 upperclassmen. The lone returning starter is 6-foot guard Jordan McCabe, who was a senior last season and returns for his fifth year for 2022-23. Other returners include 6-3 senior guard Justin Webster, 6-10 senior center David Muoka, 6-4 sophomore guard Keshon Gilbert, 6-7 senior forward Victor Iwuakor and 6-3 senior guard Cameron Burist.
The newcomers include 6-10 redshirt sophomore forward Isaiah Cottrell, who is originally from Las Vegas and transferred to UNLV from West Virginia, 6-7 freshman guard Keyshawn Hall from Cleveland, Ohio, 6-3 fifth-year guard EJ Harkless, who transferred from Oklahoma, 5-11 sophomore guard Jackie Johnson III, who transferred from Duquesne, 6-10 junior forward Karl Jones, who transferred from LA Southwest College, 6-6 sophomore guard Shane Nowell, who transferred from Arizona, 6-4 fifth-year guard Elijah Parquet, who transferred from Colorado, 6-6 senior guard Luis Rodriguez, who transferred from Ole Miss and 6-1 junior guard Nick Walters, who transferred from the College of Southern Nevada.
After 13 contests, Harkless leads the team in scoring with 15.8 ppg and is contributing 4.4 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 1.5 steals per game. Gilbert is second on the team in scoring with 13.4 ppg, while shooting 47.5% from the field and 47.4% on 3-pointers, while averaging 3.8 assists (team high) and 2.2 steals per game. Rodriguez is also averaging double figures in scoring at 12.2 ppg, while averaging a team-leading 5.9 rpg and a team-leading 2.5 spg (18th in the country). David Muoka is second on the team in rebounding (5.5 rpg) and leads the squad in blocks with 1.5 bpg.
ABOUT THE OPPONENT: San Diego State (10-3, 1-0) enters Saturday’s game on a three-game win streak, including its MW opener against Air Force (71-55) on Wednesday. The Aztecs have won six of their last seven with their only loss during that span coming to Saint Mary’s at a neutral-site game in Phoenix. SDSU has two players averaging in double figures in scoring: Darrion Trammell with 12.6 ppg and Matt Bradley with 12.2 ppg. Nathan Mensah is the team’s leading rebounder with 6.0 rpg, while Lamont Butler leads in steals at 2.1 spg and Trammell leads in assists with 3.8 apg. San Diego State is second in the MW in steals (8.92 spg) and turnover margin (3.54). The Aztecs finished the 2021-22 season with an overall record of 23-9, finishing third in the MW’s standings with a 13-4 league mark. SDSU lost to Creighton in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. This season’s team was picked to finish first out of 11 in the MW’s preseason poll with Bradley being selected to the preseason all-conference team and Trammell named Preseason Newcomer of the Year. The Aztecs’ 17-man roster includes 13 upperclassmen. SDSU is coached by Brian Dutcher, who is in his sixth season at the school with a career record of 129-43 (.750).

TICKETS: UNLV men’s basketball season ticket pricing has been adjusted for the 2022-23 season, with affordability and family-friendly value at the forefront of the changes. Tickets may be purchased online at, on the phone by calling 702-739-FANS (3267) or in person at the Thomas & Mack Center Box Office.

PROMOTIONS: Rebel Fest will open at 11 a.m. Saturday on Tark Plaza with free T-Shirts and free chicken wings (first 600). The first 2,500 fans inside the building will receive a glow baton, courtesy of Findlay Toyota.

BROADCAST INFO: Saturday’s game will be televised nationally on CBS with John Sadak and Steve Lappas calling the action. Jon Sandler, former Runnin’ Rebel Curtis Terry and Steve Cofield (sidelines) will handle the UNLV radio call, which may be heard live on ESPN Radio 1100 in Las Vegas. All streaming links and live stats will be available at and through the UNLV Rebels App.